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Psychology Essay

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Below is an essay on "Psychology" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

William James in the article ‘What is Emotion’ (Mind, 9, 1884: 188-205), argued that

emotional experience is largely due to the experience of bodily changes. According to

James, emotion is the mind’s perception of physiological conditions that result from some

stimulus. Our mind’s perception of the higher adrenaline level, heartbeat, etc, is the

emotion. This is an extremely important issue when James says 'the perception of bodily

changes as they occur IS the emotion.' For example, do we run from a bear because we

are afraid or are we afraid because we run? James proposed that the obvious answer, that

we run because we are afraid, was wrong, and instead argued that we are afraid because

we run. The essence of James' proposal was simple. It was premised on the fact that

emotions are often accompanied by bodily responses such as racing heart, tight stomach,

sweaty palms, tense muscles (sympathetic nervous system) and that we can sense what is

going on inside our body much the same as we can sense what is going on in the outside

world. According to James, emotions feel different from other states of mind because

they have these bodily responses that give rise to internal sensations, and different

emotions feel different from one another because they are accompanied by different

bodily responses and sensations. For example, when we see James' bear, we run away.

During this act of escape, the body goes through a physiological upheaval such as blood

pressure rises, heart rate increases, pupils dilate, palms sweat, muscles contract in certain

ways. Other kinds of emotional situations will result in different bodily upheavals. In each case, the physiological responses return to the brain in the form of bodily sensations,

and the unique pattern of sensory feedback gives each emotion its unique quality. Fear

feels different from anger or love because it has different physiological features. The...

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